A Brief Rest

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Hi friends! Happy Thursday!

This is just a quick note to say that I’m going to take a mini-blogging break for the next few days. Regular posting shall resume on Monday (I hope!), but for now, I’m going to try my best to give my eyes the rest they need so that they can heal as fast as possible.

I went back to work yesterday for the first time since before LASIK, and that was as fun and exciting as one would expect after being gone for almost a week. I had an eye doctor appointment yesterday morning and my eyes are healing, just slower than one would expect, to which I received a nice “everyone heals differently” response. Lucky me!

I’m able to see fine (again, the most important thing), but my eyes still hurt, and after spending a full day on the computer at work I’ve found that my eyes become severely strained. Which means I’m still spending an inordinate amount of time with my eyes closed listening to audiobooks.

I’m new to this whole audiobook world. Prior to LASIK I’d never actually listened to an audio book, and I’ve been thinking… how the eff do they decide who narrates these things? How does one get this job? Because let me tell you, I’ve had some pretty crap narrators, and I actually think that I would be significantly better at this than some of these readers.

Thinking that perhaps this experience has led to embark on a new career path, I googled “how to become an audiobook reader” and apparently it’s serious business! According to the APA (audio publishers association), “audiobook publishers look for professional narrators or actors and actresses that have voice and dramatic training, are able to use dialects and accents, can respond to direction, have the stamina that being in a closed studio for many hours requires, and ultimately deliver the feeling behind the author’s intent of the book or project.” Usually these people are chosen through a talent agency, and the APA goes on to state that this is a very competitive industry, and that acting experience is essential. There is even a huge award ceremony called “The Audies”!

Well, I don’t know what agency has been casting the books I’ve been reading, but they need to be reevaluated in my opinion.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods (couldn’t help myself… the Today Show is on in the background).

What about you?

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 17, 2013 - 11:00 am

Glad to hear you’re doing better! What an ordeal. But, yes, you’re right…the most important thing is that you can SEE! But still…sheesh!
It’s funny to read your comments on audiobooks and I too had NO idea it was such a business! I have not listened to any because, like you, I don’t know if I would respond well to listening to the book being read to me since I’d likely be distracted by the thought of “who is reading this?” haha. But one of my co-workers, who has a long commute, swears by her audiobooks so she can be attentive while driving and not hear “crappy” music on the radio.
xo,
nancy

DJ @werejustdandyJanuary 18, 2013 - 6:04 am

I listen to a lot of audiobooks now that I have a commute and I have the same kinds of questions. Mostly I wonder about about the process – how long does it take? How many takes do they have to do?

Is it amazing not to have to put on contacts in the morning?! It sucks that your eyes hurt… when my eyes hurt I am the BIGGEST baby. But it sounds like it will all be worth it!!

SerenaJanuary 18, 2013 - 9:53 am

@DJ – I wonder how many takes they take as well, especially when you can tell something happened mid chapter and the tone totally changes. Do these people consider themselves actors? How much does one make? I’m super curious.

As for my eyes, it’s been super crappy, but last night was the first time I’ve had any sort of “this is worth it” moment… I was laying in bed (listening to my audiobook!) and as I started to get tired I thought to myself “ugh, I have to get up and take out my contacts,” and then I realized… no! I don’t!!

SerenaJanuary 18, 2013 - 9:57 am

@nancy – it definitely takes some getting used to, these audiobooks. I’m no convert, but it is nice to be able to essentially “read” while doing things you wouldn’t normally be able to read during… cleaning the house, on the bus since I get carsick if I try to read, or walking to work. But when the narrators suck, it’s really hard to get into it.

The Grown Up PrincessJanuary 23, 2013 - 7:19 pm

I heard a commercial for lasik on the radio this morning as I was driving to work and I thought of you. How are your eyes doing??? I have a friend who lost vision in one eye during hers and that was it – I am too permanently petrified to try it (even though I realize that is like 1 in a million).

Hoping your eyes are feeling better!

Happy Friday! | SpillerenaMarch 29, 2013 - 11:30 am

[...] the audio book version of The Handmaid’s Tale (I had an audible credit from all the books I listened to while recovering from LASIK), and holy moly, it was such a great book! I’m absolutely shocked [...]

Around These Parts…

It’s been an interesting five days in our household. As I mentioned last week, I was scheduled to have LASIK surgery on Thursday, and if you follow me on instagram or twitter, you probably know that I’ve had a pretty tough recovery. Apparently I fall in the very small percentage of people (less than 2%) that have complications from the surgery, and while my eyesight itself is and will continue to be fine, which is hands down the most important thing, it has made for a super painful recovery period. For the first two days following the procedure, it felt like my eyes were on fire. I could hardly open them, and when I did they would start to water and gush like crazy. Eye pain is no joke. When you can’t open your eyes and all you want to do is scratch your eyeballs out, it’s really really hard to focus on anything else.

Basically, it seems that I got some pretty bad epithelial defects, otherwise known as corneal abrasions, or in layman’s terms… eye scratches. Lots and lots of eye scratches. My eyes got all scratched during part of the procedure so I have scar tissue that needs to heal, and because of that, I’ve been in a lot of pain. Typical LASIK recovery is 24-48 hours. Well, I’m on day five and I’m just now able to keep my eyes open for prolonged periods of time and the puffiness and swelling is finally starting to fade. It no longer feels like I have sand rubbing around my eyes, and blinking no longer makes me feel like gouging my eyes out.

For those that are considering LASIK I want to make it clear that this is very very uncommon, I just happened to fall in that teeny tiny crappy percentage of people that have issues. In the past six months I have had three friends that had LASIK, all by the same surgeon I went to, and they had absolutely no complications. Two of them said they could have gone back to work the next day.

To make things even more interesting, last Wednesday my husband woke up super dizzy. Two days later he was still feeling this way, so he went to a doctor, and was diagnosed with “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.” It’s not that serious, and usually goes away on its own, but it’s still vertigo and it still sucks. So between his vertigo and my eye problems, well, it’s been quite the party up in this household!

Once I’m fully recovered, I plan on writing more about my experience, because I think that had I known what to expect regarding complications, I wouldn’t have been so freaked out when they happened to me. Everyone I knew that had LASIK had raved about their experiences, telling me that they went out to dinner the day of the procedure…that they had no pain, no issues… and that it truly felt like a miracle. Well, when the opposite of that happens to you, it makes you think that you are totally f***ed and something is seriously wrong. Had I known that what was happening to me was somewhat common, I think I would have been a lot less terrified that I hadn’t just screwed up my eyesight for life, and that the pain I was feeling would eventually pass.

For those that don’t follow me on instagram, here’s a short photo recap:

For the first two days I could barely open my eyes, so I basically just laid in a dark room listening to audio books. It was very boring and very painful and very frustrating.

Kevin quickly realized that my pain would not be as bad if he liquored me up, so we got a little drunk on Friday night. I was still in pain, but the combination of wine and Valium made me much happier.

On Saturday I woke up basically the same, so I had to miss one of my best friend’s birthday parties. I had been looking forward to her party for a long time so I was very sad. Kevin and I decided to have our own party and celebrate in spirit. We took a reprieve from healthy eating and ate chocolate and cheese and pizza and drank wine and baileys and beer and tried to make the best of it.

By Saturday night, I was going stir crazy. My first shipment from PVBody had arrived, and even though it hurt to open my eyes, I wanted to try my new clothes on. They were WAY TOO TIGHT which for some reason made me laugh like a maniac, and the combo of wine, pain killers, and cabin fever made me add a belt and act like Olivia Newton John circa 1980 and have a weird dance party alone in my living room.

Kevin’s first reaction to this outfit was “that top makes your boobs look very flat.” Thanks husband, you sure do know how to make a girl feel special!

Side note: Despite suffering from vertigo, Kevin has been AMAZING these past few days, waiting on me hand and foot and just being the best person you could ever want around you when you are blind and in pain. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m very very lucky that he is mine. I love him so much sometimes I think my heart could burst.

Yesterday I woke up feeling significantly better, and my left eye almost felt normal. My right eye was still really puffy and in pain, so I covered it up and tried to watch TV. I was able to watch most of the Golden Globes and after resting my eyes for a bit, I finished up the night with the Girls premier. Progress!

 

That leads me to today. As I type this I’m still wearing my protective goggles because my eyes are still super sensitive to air and light, but they are healing. The mere act of putting this blog entry together has started to strain them, but hey, two days ago I couldn’t even look at a computer screen, so this is progress! Slowly but surely they are healing. I’ve yet to have that “oh my god this is amazing” feeling, but even with all the pain and complications, I don’t regret doing it.

How was your weekend? I hope it was easier than mine!

 

JayJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:28 pm

I feel for you! I once had an eye injury and woke up to the eyes on fire want to scratch them out sensation — after antibiotics and rest it was over but those couple of days were horrible!

Glad to hear you are on the mend!

MariaJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Oh my goodness gracious, I hope you’re feeling better soon :(
xo, Maria

Nicole MarieJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:52 pm

oh you poor girl!! i mean you still look great considering you couldn’t open your eyes! i would have killed someone if i had been that bed bound. but i’m glad you’re healing!

Patty McClainJanuary 14, 2013 - 2:06 pm

Relieved to hear of the gradual improvement. Hang in there. (Also pleased to know of Kevin’s attentiveness.)

MaureenJanuary 14, 2013 - 2:25 pm

That sounds pretty miserable! I like your coping mechanism though – sounds like the perfect way to power through the pain!

MarcieJanuary 14, 2013 - 3:32 pm

Oh my sweet sissy…I’m so sorry you’re not completely well yet. I will call you when I get off work at 5:30.
xoxox
M

ritaJanuary 15, 2013 - 8:07 am

ah! i’m so sorry to hear about the pain and misery! i am petrified of lasik even though i know i would benefit from it… i am sure it will be worth it when everything is healed!

MerrittJanuary 18, 2013 - 7:21 am

This post is my worst fear realized – I’ve been wanting Lasik forever and now I’m terrified! haha.

I hope you are feeling better – eye pain really is the worst!!

The Style Scribe

Kayla @ Sealed With a KayJanuary 21, 2013 - 12:09 pm

Wow! You’re a trooper! Anything having to do with eyes not working correctly is painful! Hopefully you’re feeling better now with awesome vision! WOOHOO!

[…] Piccoult Audio Books – Okay… so remember when I had LASIK last year and had all sorts of compilations and couldn’t open my eyes for extended periods of time? It […]

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month

Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month?

I did not, so I’m guessing there is a good chance that you didn’t either, probably because this is a new proclamation.

On December 31, 2012, President Obama declared January as month to bring awareness to human trafficking in hopes that we can all work harder to put an end to these horrific human rights abuses. He calls “upon businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”

Ever since my time in Cambodia, human trafficking has been one of the social justice issues I feel most strongly about. According to UN.gift, it’s estimated that over two million people are trafficked each year, and over half of are those are children.

A lot of times we think of trafficking as something that happens mostly abroad, but it’s just a much a problem in the United States as it is in other parts of the world. The injustices that occur daily in our own backyard are horrifying.

So what can we do?

The first step is awareness. Educate yourself on these issues, and then get involved.

The Blue Campaign

The blue campaign works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security components to combat human trafficking through a variety of efforts, such as enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations.

Not For Sale Campaign

The Not For Sale Campaign offers multiple ways to get involved both at the national and local level.

The Project to End Human Trafficking

The project to end human trafficking offers educational lectures about human trafficking and works with multiple campaigns towards ending trafficking.

Half the Sky Movement

 One of my favorite, Half the Sky offers a plethora of ways to get involved and make a difference. From volunteering to donations to simply spreading the word, everyone can do something. At the bare minimum, go and read the book.

I know there a many more amazing campaigns out there, but these are just a few that I’m aware of.

If you have any others you would like to pass on, I’d love to hear them.

Change can happen, but it’s not going to unless more of us get involved.

Kari HughesJanuary 10, 2013 - 10:13 am

My friend and I opened a women made, fair trade company after being inspired by Half The Sky. We really looked at what we could do right now with what we have and where we are. Helping women build businesses by bringing their handmade goods to an expanded American market is what we chose to do and after a year and a half we haven’t looked back. We know the best way to keep a girl safe is to give her mother an income.
We have been following your blog since you came up on our half the sky google alert several months ago. Keep up the good work. :-).

Kari Hughes
Buy The Change USA

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 10, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Thank you for bringing this up! It’s such a serious issue that is not talked about enough. Like a lot of things, it’s easier to be “in the dark” than to be come “wiser.” Yes, I realize that sounds very simplistic in argument but, in the grand scheme of things, we’re behind on the times in keeping updated with what’s going on with the world. Ironic with how much technology we have at our fingertips!
xo,
nancy

My New Bra

Yesterday when I got home from work I was delighted to see a package waiting for me. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was excited regardless (I kind of sort of majorly have a problem with online shopping…I order so much that I often forget what I’ve actually ordered…yes, I’m aware this is a problem and I’m working on it).

I opened it up and was thrilled to see what awaited me!

It was a new pillow!


But you see, this is just not any sort of pillow.

It’s a BOOB PILLOW!

Yes. You heard that right. A pillow. FOR YOUR BOOBS!

For those of you that are confused, let me explain.

A few months ago I started to notice that when I woke up, I had chest wrinkles. As the day wore on they would fade, but as time passed it seemed as if these creases would stay longer and longer. Me, being the total freaker outer that I am, was less than pleased. I started asking my friends if they too were getting chest wrinkles, and was dismayed to learn that no, they were not. I turned to my other best friend, Google, and I learned that many women, especially those with larger chests, tend to get deep chest wrinkles from sleeping on their side.

I may not have a large chest, but I do sleep on my side.

So I started to try to sleep on my back, but no matter how hard I tried, even if I fell asleep on my back, I’d wake up on my side.

While complaining about my chest wrinkles and dramatically declaring that I was the youngest and most small chested person in the history of the world to get chest wrinkles at such a young age, my friend Lindsey said she heard about a boob pillow that prevented these horrendous creases!

I googled it and came across this Dr. Oz video about it, and I was sold!

(It’s embarrassing what an easy sale I am.)

Friends, meet my new bra:


It’s a good thing I’m married, because it doesn’t exactly scream sexy.

(the fact that I am posting these pictures is evidence of my love for you, dear blog readers.)

I slept with it last night and once I was able to stop laughing, I forgot I was even wearing it.

When I woke up this morning I ran to the mirror to see if it worked.

I still had some creases, but significantly less than I normally wake up with.

Only time will tell how long this love affair between me and my Intimia Breast Pillow will last, but so far I think it is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

ritaJanuary 9, 2013 - 9:02 am

oh my god. i’m dying over these pictures! this is hilarious.

i never remember to do it, but i’ve been told to rub the leftover night cream in my hands onto my chest to help protect the thin skin there and prevent wrinkles… i think i’ll stick with that vs. the pillow, i just don’t think i could do it!

SerenaJanuary 9, 2013 - 11:00 am

@Rita – I smother my chest with a ton of night cream most nights, and I started to put a wrinkle cream in the wrinkly areas, and it doesn’t seem to have helped much. I think the problem is that my sleeping position of choice is the fetal position, and I sleep basically curled up in a ball on my side. SUPER comfortable for sleeping, SUPER BAD for wrinkles. Ugh. Hopefully my new bra will help!!

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 9, 2013 - 1:00 pm

I had no idea this thing existed! When I saw your post title I didn’t think much about it. But, now you’ve got my interest in this thingamajig. I’m going to check it out! Maybe preventative? hehe…

xo,
nancy

Empirically ErinJanuary 9, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Omg this is hilarious!! What a good idea! I have a big chest and I always think about whether I sleep on one side more than the other and if it could cause more sagging on one side. Lol!!

MoJanuary 10, 2013 - 7:22 am

This is such great info! I was noticing the chest wrinkles too, but I could figure out where they were from. I mean, I don’t usually walk around in some crazy push up bra all the time that could create them. This is good Intel to have – I may have to make the same investment! I’ll wait til after the wedding though so he’s stuck with me and my booby pillow :)

Nicole MarieJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:53 pm

I am getting that ASAP!

BiancaJanuary 18, 2013 - 5:31 am

Haa!! you go girl! this is hilarious/great. I also suffer from those forsaken chest wrinkles! Cheers to you and your new boob pillow.

[...] Wrinkles. It seems like everyday I find some new sign of aging. From random sunspots to cleavage wrinkles to my first gray hair, it’s something new all the time. I don’t know if I’m just [...]

A Few Things of No Particular Importance

Warning: Very random nonsensical post ahead.

1. It’s effing cold here. I’m sure if you are in the east coast and reading this you probably want to punch me in the face, but hey, for the bay area it has been freeeeeeeezing. I’ve officially started wearing my poofy winter coat I bought for a winter Chicago trip. So if I have to wear that in San Francisco? Trust me, it’s cold.

2. I’m getting LASIK on Thursday and I cannot wait. I’ve worn contacts since I was in 7th grade, so waking up and being able to see seems completely surreal to me. I can barely see my own hand in front of my face when I’m not wearing contacts or glasses, so I really can’t even fathom what this will be like. Have any of you had it?

3. I have become completely addicted to Breaking Bad. I think about it all the time. It terrifies me but I can’t stop watching it. Kevin and I started it a few weeks ago and we’re almost done with the third season. Last night I had a dream that I was selling meth and Gustavo was yelling at me. I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing. To counteract this, I just stare at this picture:

 

4. Kevin and I saw Zero Dark Thirty on Saturday and it was FANTASTIC. The torture scenes were really hard for me to watch (as torture scenes should be, I suppose), but it was so good. Jessica Chastain is phenomenal.

5. Speaking of phenomenal, have you seen Les Mis yet? If so, you must watch this video.

Happy Monday Friends! Only five more days until the weekend! We can do it!

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MariaJanuary 7, 2013 - 12:45 pm

The thought of getting Lasik scares me, but it’s definitely something I’d like to do one day.
xo, Maria

RebeccaJanuary 7, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I was just saying the same thing about the weather here! I have friends on the East Coast who tell me I am insane, but the Bay Area seems a lot colder this winter than usual. I’m always in a scarf, jacket, and gloves now so that is definitely saying something haha. Good luck on the lasik! My brother had it done and he says it was the best choice he ever made. Yay!

SerenaJanuary 7, 2013 - 3:02 pm

@Rebecca – It has been SO COLD! I’ve been freezing. I think it seems even colder because you are not expecting it to be this cold, if you know what I mean.

@Maria – I used to be terrified of it, but recently two of my really good friends had it done and they said that it wasn’t scary at all and that they didn’t feel any pain, so now I feel pretty good about it!

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 7, 2013 - 4:13 pm

OMG yes it is COLD!! I hate to say that when I realize others are actually freezing their butts but man…it’s cold! I’m a California girl so it’s tough for us! haha
I definitely want to watch Zero Dark Thirty! I saw Django Unchained and the Hobbit. Les Miserables is on the list (since we intended to watch it on Christmas Day but got side-tracked) but I think this weekend will be spent watching Gangster Squad…OH Ryan Gosling… Swoon. lol.
xo,
nancy

JessicaJanuary 7, 2013 - 7:01 pm

I love Breaking Bad!! I’m completely caught up now. I think we did all the seasons in a month! It’s just so addicting.

Hope Lasik goes well. My hubby needs it. He makes me read the street signs for him when he drives.

SaraJanuary 8, 2013 - 7:17 am

Hey – this is Sara from Syracuse! I had LASIK in 2005 and it was one of the BEST things I have ever done! I actually forgot about the hassle contacts until I was traveling with my sister somewhere and it all came back to me, seeing the paraphernalia. It’s been SO nice to not have to deal with that – especially waking up in the middle of the night for the babies! I try not to talk anyone into doing it, but since you already are – I think you’ll LOVE IT!